The innovation in e-bikes over the last few years has been staggering. From more efficient motors to super-fast chargers, e-bikes are getting better and better. But so is e-bike security technology too.
With smart bike locks to GPS technology, the security protecting our bikes comes with more bells and whistles than ever before. But is it worth the extra investment? And could it actually deter thieves from stealing your electric bike?
Abus BORDO™ folding connected lock
When leaving your e-bike the main barrier of protection for your bike is a bike lock. A good lock, some practical locking advice, and a good locking technique can avoid almost all bike thefts.
The first item of tech is a reinvention of a classic device, the D or U-lock. A U-lock is the strongest way of locking a bicycle. But there’s a slight snag, U-locks aren’t always practical for e-bikes.
The larger downtubes and chunkier framesets on an e-bike make getting the U-lock around the frame tricky or sometimes impossible.
So this Abus folding lock (Abus BORDO™ ALARM 6000A) solves the problem. It’s compact when folded away, but extends to 85cm, without sacrificing strength.
The lock is made with ‘5.5 mm thick bars of specially hardened steel that offer the highest possible protection against manipulation attempts. In other words, this lock is strong!
The Abus also has an ace up its sleeve. An alarm that sounds at a volume of 100dB if it detects an attempted attack. It can detect the smallest of movements in all three dimensions.
Luckily, the sensors can distinguish between picking attempts and the small vibrations which occur when connected or when something bounces nearby. This saves any potential embarrassing misfires.
Coming with acoustic signals that can provide information on battery level and activity status, this is the ultimate modern bike lock.
Read also: Selection of our favorite e-bike accessories to help you find the right gear for your needs.
Pentalock integrated e-bike immobilizer lock
The Pentalock isn’t your standard bike lock. It’s essentially an immobilizer for your e-bike. The lock is fully integrated and can be attached to any bike.
Like the Abus, the Pentalock comes with an alarm system with 100dB and can automatically figure out if your e-bike is stolen.
The lock is also activated by a wireless keyfob and can be unlocked with just a push of a button. The system uses Bluetooth and can be controlled by an app too.
It’s also perfect for e-bikes. When locked the Pentalock can turn off all electric functionality so that the electric bike can’t work properly when locked.
Unfortunately, the Pentalock is only available to manufacturers for R & D at the moment but expect to see this device coming pre-fitted to electric bikes soon.
Pinhead / Hexlox personalized e-bike locking system
Most e-bikes come with a preinstalled battery lock, meaning you don’t have to worry about your battery being vulnerable to theft.
If yours isn’t able to be locked to your frame, it’s a good idea to look at your options for adding a specific battery lock.
E-bikes have other expensive parts too. If your e-bike has its motor inside the rear wheel, it can be devastating if this was to get stolen.
You might be able to add an extra bike lock around your wheels, but you can’t lock every component on your electric bicycle!
The solution is genius. A simple key to operate some of the bolts on your e-bike. This means a thief can’t simply walk around with an Allen key. They’ll need your personal lock to remove your wheel or component.
Both brands offer complete packages so that you can transform your e-bike so that each part has an extra layer of security.
The only snag with these systems is that you’ll need to remember your key when going out for a ride. A puncture with no way to remove the wheel would be a disaster.
Apple AirTags for GPS Security
A unique option but if you want to keep tabs on your e-bike at all times an AirTag attached to your e-bike is a great choice.
Released in 2021, the Apple AirTags let you trace miniature discs using the FindMy app on your Apple device.
The AirTags use Bluetooth to provide an accurate location from other devices on the network. It can also be put into ‘lost mode’ so that the owner can be notified if the device is found.
These AirTags could be attached in numerous ways to your e-bike and there are a few specialist devices to fit your e-bike.
Of course, you should never approach an e-bike thief if you’ve located your e-bike. But this is a surefire way of being able to get it back if it was to get stolen.
Tech-powered collective electric bike insurance
If you’re going all-out to protect your e-bike then you might want to look at specialist bike insurance too.
Laka has an innovative approach to insurance where customers are charged at the end of each month, compared to traditional insurance where you’re charged upfront.
Each individual’s monthly cost is capped at a personal maximum based on the value of their e-bike and gear. You never pay more than your cap, which means you don’t have to worry about unnecessary charges.
They can do this because they’re ‘collective driven’ and power is put in the hands of their customers. 80% of what customers pay goes into paying the claims of fellow Laka members so they can get back on the road after an accident, the other 20% keeps Laka’s wheels spinning.
All the things you would expect to be covered are included, such as theft, accidental damage, battery theft and damage, travel, and loss.
Laka also uses technology to help provide an awesome customer experience. Using digital tools such as video evidence for claims and instant chat for customer service helps speed up the claiming process.
Claims are then settled by a team of experts in-house too. This means you get expert advice from cyclists who know what they’re talking about.
Laka’s only available in the UK / Europe at the moment but keep tabs on their journey as they’re expanding fast!